The other day I decided I would self check and post a poll on Facebook all about bed sheets.
I asked a simple question, “How often do you wash your bed sheets?” with two basic answers…
(a) all the time (aka weekly)
(b) never (aka once a month)
Oh my word!
Never in my life did I think something like that would spark a discussion of over 200 comments *including replies* and 150 votes. I know, that is nowhere near viral, but for this momma, it is a BIG deal.
Because I read each of the comments and I was blown away by the candid humour of the women replying, their admissions that they sometimes let it go more than a month because life gets in the way, and then there were the ones tossing around the “bed sheets should be washed x number of times in y number of days, should be laid flat to dry, ironed and folded according to the most prestigious methods otherwise you are failing at life” type of comments.
I laughed out loud as I read through each one and shared them with my less than enthusiastic husband, he more begrudgingly listened … until I hit the “should” comment that was followed by said momma’s own admission that she does not maintain such standard.
He burst out – because he obviously couldn’t hold it in – “why do you women doing that?”
Say what now?!
He elaborated on why women feel the need to say that they have a certain standard, that there is this bar of success that they are striving for (clearly set above all the moms who admitted that they MAYBE wash their sheets every other week, if not monthly *unless, of course, a child has been sick, coloured or peed on said sheets*) and that they feel that THIS should be the standard. He compared it to our constant need to post the prettiest pictures of our homes and children, that we filter and edit all our selfies so that our skin is flawless, our eyes are bright and we look as though we had about a thousand hours of sleep when, truthfully, we are running on empty.
He said in a perturbed voice, “why isn’t it good enough to just be real? To accept that some people will want fresh sheets or have more time to do the washing, while others don’t care as much about those details. Why isn’t it ok to be yourself when you’re tired or worn down, when the laundry has piled up or the dishes have taken over the kitchen. You are all in this together and – as much as you say you are being transparent and “real” – there is always a handful of women who will throw shade and make you feel bad. Why can’t you just be real, you asked how often people wash their sheets, just answer the question! There is no RIGHT way or timeline for cleaning the sheets unless you are letting your sheets get nasty and then there is a bigger problem. SHEESH.”
^^ clearly it hit a nerve.
I’ll tell you, I about hopped off the chair, stripped the bed and got them sheets cleaned that minute … ABOUT >> remember, I am huge right now! I considered it, and that counts.
But he has a point.
Why DO we do that?
Why, when we are asked to share something about ourselves, our routines or our expectations, do we feel the need to justify it in a way that belittles someone else.
Why do we suggest or imply that there is a standard to this whole housewife and motherhood thing, and that if you aren’t doing it THIS very specific way, then you aren’t doing it right?
What is that?
I know there is a certain feeling of judgement, like we post our response and then we are so concerned that someone out there on the inter webs is going to read it and think LESS of us, so we include some quick justification and stance that we are CLEARLY growing and working toward this definition of excellence … but seriously who the stink cares about the trolls and the Judgemental Janet’s who might take it upon themselves to harsh on your parade.
What she thinks doesn’t matter! Even the person you are talking to or the post you are weighing in on, their opinion doesn’t freaking matter! You don’t need to justify why you let the sheets stay on the bed for a week and a day when it CLEARLY requires cleaning on a 7 day schedule. It’s life, we all do it differently. Be cool with the way you do it and just weigh in with humour and candid realness. Contribute because it’s a community and we are all interested to see what other people do not because you hold a holier than though opinion of your clean routine.
Here’s the gist of what my husband was getting at – be real with one another ladies, allow each other to have flaws, to have strengths, and to have her own way of doing things without casting judgement or having to prove yourself superior. A confident mom will laugh with another mom over the little things we each do differently, will encourage a fellow woman in faith, and will surround her friends and family in prayer. A confident women has nothing to prove and no reason to justify why they do what they do except to add humour or compassion to a discussion.
This year, can we all agree to be more real, less filtered and more confident in the path we are called to walk along.
Can we stand by one another, encourage one another, and pray for one another because motherhood is fricken’ hard enough, the last thing we need is to feel like we aren’t even washing our sheets right!